Discussion Questions

  1. Which subcultures existed in your high school? What behaviors and norms distinguished these groups from one another? Which of the subcultures were considered “deviant”?
  2. When you were a child, do you recall examples of products you wanted that you used “pester power” to try (successfully or unsuccessfully) to persuade your parents to buy? When we poll the class, do some of the same products appear on the list? What does this say about mass media and product exposure to children?
  3. Do you see signs that the recession has moved the country closer to a post-consumer culture? If so, what are they?
  4. How has the use of identity politics by the LGBTQ community changed popular opinion as well as laws and policies in the United States?
  5. How might ethnocentrism in America affect our attitudes toward unrest in the Middle East? How do these ethnocentric American views affect how we are perceived by Arab and Muslim countries?
  6. What are the norms for riding an elevator? Write down as many norms for correct elevator behavior as you can think of, and then write down what you think the consequences might be for breaking each of these norms.